Revolution through the 2016 elections?

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The light of reason and the law appears to have totally vanished from our sight as President B. S. Aquino 3rd insists on trying to qualify Sen. Grace Poe-Llamanzares as a possible presidential candidate in 2016, despite her incurable citizenship and residence defects. Some form of lower intellectual life would like to rescue PNoy and Ms. Poe from their predicament by asking her to lower her sights to the vice-presidency, for which she is neither qualified. At the same time, the Commission on Elections seems determined to put the foreign marketing firm Smartmatic and its voting machine in charge of the next elections, despite its abominable performance in the 2010 and 2013 elections, and its most recent disclosure to the British House of Commons that it is a 100-percent foreign subsidiary with no legal authority to do business in the Philippines.

Grace Poe may be politically more seductive than any other presidential aspirant, as Sen. Francis Escudero will be probably be only too happy to affirm, but not being a natural-born Filipino and lacking the 10-year residence immediately preceding the May 2016 election, she is not qualified to run for President, Vice-President, or even a seat in Congress. By behaving as though the natural-born citizenship and the 10-year residence prior to the election, as required of presidential candidates, did not exist, Aquino is doing his best to convince everyone that the Constitution, which he swore “to preserve and defend” five years ago, no longer works; that the only thing that counts is what he wants and what he says.

He has made himself the law, above any other law. He now fancies himself as the entire government, as the entire ruling Liberal Party, as the entire country. This is an undisguised tyranny. To be fair, although he has jailed his predecessor, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and the opposition senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr. without trial, and removed Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez and Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona through political intimidation and bribery, and protected his corrupt and plundering allies and sycophants from the merest hint of an inquiry, his tyranny, although not benign, has not been murderous and bloody. But it has cost us our vaunted democracy. We are no longer a democracy.

Marcos declared martial law in 1972 because of a rampaging communist insurgency.  This had long-term consequences on our young democracy. But whatever the excesses of martial law, Aquino has made Marcos look like a paragon of moral and political virtue now, after he had taken over the three coequal and coordinate branches of government without any constitutional raison d’etre, simply by corrupting Congress and intimidating the judiciary, just because he had wanted to. Both co-equal institutions are now trying to get out of Aquino’s stranglehold—the Supreme Court in the case of the Priority Development Assistance Fund and the Disbursement Acceleration Program, which it had declared unconstitutional and void; the Congress, in the case of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law creating an exclusive autonomous Islamic enclave for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the southern Philippines, which it had refused to railroad at Malacañang’s behest. But the cumulative impact of Aquino’s authoritarian excesses on our institutions has distorted our self-image as a people and as a country.


In the original formulation of the US Declaration of Independence, whenever a government becomes destructive of its just ends, “it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.” Under Aquino, this is what has happened to our country. He has single-handedly destroyed the Constitution by destroying all institutions. These must be restored, if we are to rebuild democracy.

But they cannot be restored or rebuilt by a simple regime change. They can be restored and rebuilt only through system change. Mere election, even if honest, which is a remote possibility, will only replace individuals; revolution alone can replace and rebuild institutions. Now a revolution can be either violent or non-violent; we do not need violence to change what we can through non-violence. “Radical” change—from the Latin word radix, which means roots—is not incompatible with non-violence. We must transform society from its roots, according to its roots, by means of revolution, without resorting to violence.

This idea of change is totally absent from the vocabulary of our present day politics. The self-declared presidential aspirants are talking only of their ambition to become president, and how many of the 1,200 unknown individuals arbitrarily chosen by the propaganda fraudsters to answer questions in a particular “survey” support their bid to become president. None of the aspirants are talking even of cosmetic change. The ship of state is sinking, like the Titanic, but their concern is not how to save it, but how to blend well with the furniture and be photographed smiling on the deck. Aquino’s absurd demand, to be succeeded by someone who will continue “his programs,” creates an awful absurdity, simply because he has no known programs for his successor to continue.

In the early stages of his “non-campaign” as a possible non-candidate, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of Davao used to be quoted as saying that, if elected president, the first thing he would do would be to organize a “revolutionary government.” This statement has remained unelaborated and uncommented upon until now. But it is not too late to examine it. And this is what I shall do here now.

It would seem absurd for anyone to run for president in a constitutionally mandated election, and then to proclaim a “revolutionary government” as soon as he is elected. A revolutionary government is the product of a revolution, not an election.  One cannot take the oath to “preserve and defend the Constitution” after winning the election, and then in the next breath renounce the same Constitution and adopt a new one. In 1986, Cory Aquino lost the snap election to Marcos, but she refused to accept her defeat, and the EDSA uprising intervened to oust Marcos and put her in. I don’t believe she would ever have considered presiding over a revolutionary government, if she had won the election.

But there may be no incompatibility between holding an election, and inviting the voters in the same election, and through the same election, to participate in a non-violent revolution. How can this be done? Supposing that instead of fielding a particular presidential candidate with no meaningful program of government, the National Transformation Council, the Solidarity for Sovereignty and other allied groups were to nominate a presidential candidate who is not an individual but rather some kind of “party list” organization named “Revolutionary Council, shouldn’t that allow the nation to find out who are in favor of system change through an electoral revolution?

Through this, we could remake our democracy, and our entire society, without any violence. This sounds more ambitious and potentially more extensive and far-reaching than Marcos’s “revolution from the center.” And it seeks to derive its support from the broad masses of our people. I am challenging the political parties, the political scholars and practitioners, the academics and all interested parties to dissect and examine this idea as a possible major contribution to Philippine democracy in and far beyond the next elections.

fstatad@gmail.com

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16 Comments

  1. Grace Poe Llamanzares is married to a American, has 3 American children and yet goes by Poe so that people can vote for her because her adopted father was a well known actor. Can’t win a election based on issues then run on your last name.

    Grace Poe Llamanzares is not a natural born Filipino she is a foundling that was later adopted. She is not qualified according to the constitution to sit in the senate or become president or vice president.

    Does she care that the constitution says she is not allowed to be a senator ? Apparently not. If she runs and gets elected in the next election she will take the oath to enforce the constitution even tho she violated it to get elected.

    Just another corrupt senator.

  2. Mariano Patalinjug on

    Yonkers, New York
    17 July 2016

    Even if Grace Poe is declared by the Supreme Court qualified to run for public office, she may not be qualified to be either a Vice President, or let alone the President, of the Philippines.
    Why so?
    She is a complete NEOPHYTE as far as holding those two critical offices is concerned. She will be completely lost–and probably is the reason why she has declared publicly that if elected President [for no other good reason than that her family name is “POE”], SHE WILL TAKE DIRECTION FROM PRESIDENT AQUINO.

    That means that President Aquino will be enjoying another 6-year term as President–albeit “behind the scenes” or “behind her skirt.”

    MARIANO PATALINJUG
    Lapulapu1927@yahoo.com

  3. Leodegardo Pruna on

    It is just too bad that we are in this kind of mess leaderless because our leader is just being played around by A BAD man. There is a limit to abuses and the limit will soon be reached. God bless the Philippines.

  4. I remember what Eric Hoffer said in his book “True Believer”, that revolutionary ideas can never come out from the mind of a hungry person. It’s because a hungry person’s primary concern is to look for food to satiate his hunger. For the Visayans, we call the lives they live “kakha tuka”. More than 60 percent of the Filipinos are in the realm of poverty and according to some people, you cannot eat ideas or ideals. Supposedly, the middle-class should have carried the torch to fight for the preservation of true democracy but this sector failed on their moral obligation and instead delve on various social distractions brought by advance technology, TV, internet, play stations, etc. They don’t relish to be pulled out from their comfort zone as what they have done during the twilight days of martial law. Incidentally, this situation is being exploited by the scheming and selfish oligarchs and elitist groups to foster their evil agenda. They practically control our economy and media industry and consequently, the destiny of the Filipino nation.

  5. Vic Penetrante on

    Elections are held for people to judge who they want for a leader. And we abide to that!

  6. Amnata Pundit on

    We are too far gone to have a peaceful revolution, if revolution is to mean real change as you defined it. The 1% as represented by the Yellows, the oligarchs and the American-led West will do everything in their power to preserve the status quo. Wasn’t the Philippine Revolution preceded first by the Propaganda Movement? Things are a lot more complicated today than they were in those days, modern oppression today being more high-tech and harder to for the masses to see. They can feel the suffering, but they cannot clearly see the real hand that is oppressing them. You know very well that this retardate is only a proxy, as Cory, FVR, GMA were. The country’s real patriots must focus the people’s attention on the yellow hypocrites as the real enemy, and the most convenient way to do that is to launch an anti-yellow boycott of the 2016 elections as the elections are what is on top of the peoples’ minds and will be until May next year and even beyond. The good news is that the people are already aware that Smartmatic is a cheating machine and that will put the current powers that be constantly on the defensive.

  7. Dapat nang manawagan ng pambansang rally ang mga anti pork advocates at mga arsobispo Laban sa PCOS at mga maling pamamalakad ng gobyerno ng Ito

  8. genesisbughaw on

    Greetings!
    We are up against all criminal fronts, opportunists, political mendicants, oligarchs and cabals for all we all know they are all bunch of parasites.
    Revolution can be taken in the context of peaceful process of National Transformation.
    Hopefully, somebody may take up the challenge and rise up for the survival of our only one Country that we called our HOME.
    We cannot afford for another six(6) years of yellowing.
    If i may and my prayer in fact, that all the much needed policy structures be set in place such as;
    -Thru Con Con;
    -Federalism;
    -Marshall for Mindanao;
    -Repeal of Mining Act of 1995;
    -Repeal or improve the E-Pira Law at core is for the general welfare;
    -Nuclearized (Science Driven) Economy
    -Strenghen the Culture of Excellence that was corrupted by “noynoying” and, by joining the BRICS.

    ps.
    Si blackbird po pala e nagpapamigay ng rosaryo na may letter “B”.
    Ang di ko lang alam baka hindi naman po Binay ang ibig sabihin nun ika nga “given the benefit of the doubt”baka naman Baloyloy na nasa limlingan na parang manok na naglimlim.

    Si boy pick-up kaya naman ang piliin ni Yellow Bird? abangan…

    May isa pa si Philippine Eagle 24k yan Solid North baka siya na nga ang Northern Star ng Pilipinas.

  9. ferdinand concepcion on

    SAD that Filipinos now, particularly the professionals and students don’t care, about what’s happening to the country, with the brazen mockery of the Constitution by Aquino, and his attack dogs – DE LIMA, MORALES, TRILLANES, CAYETANO, PIMENTEL, DRILON. In other enlightened citizenry of other countries, there should have been massive street protests now, to remove these opportunistic politicians. But it’s not happening because our professionals and students don’t care, as long as they have their gadgets, fancy cars; can go to the malls, gimmicks, etc.

    • Samuel Santos on

      They “don’t care” because they don’t know who should replace “Aquino, and his attack dogs,” anyway.

  10. christinetan on

    “Some form of lower intellectual life would like to rescue PNoy and Ms. Poe from their predicament by asking her to lower her sights to the vice-presidency, for which she is neither qualified.”… Sir Tatad calling others of “Some form of lower intellectual life” just because they do not share your ideas or are supporting other presidentiables is VERY UNCHRISTIAN and the HEIGHT OF PRESUMPTUOUSNESS AND COCKINESS. It is like saying you are INTELLECTUALLY SUPERIOR to them. You are being DISRESPECTFUL TO OTHER PERSONS’ INHERENT AND CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT OF EXPRESSION which is ANATHEMA to DEMOCRACY and HUMAN RIGHTS. Let us all respect divergent views and not impose our own on others. No one person has a monopoly of good ideas.

  11. It seems that Grace Poe sounds like Cory Aquino when Cory was then being convinced to run against Pres. Marcos.

    Cory: If Pres. Marcos was sincere in uplifting the lives of the Filipinos, nothing is
    impossible.

    Grace: Heart for people should be major consideration in electing leaders.

    Cory: Pres. Marcos said that I know nothing. Yes, it’s true. I know nothing
    about graft and corruption.

    Grace: We have seen that even highly experienced leaders falter if they do not
    have the best intentions of the people at heart.

    As what happened, Cory was a disaster when she became president because of her inexperience in politics and public administration. She stopped or did not support the good projects and programs of her immediate predecessor (Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, nationalization of public utilities, etc.), and we are still reaping the fruits of her wrong decisions.

    As Sen. Serge Osmena said, “This is not all about national politics and winning the elections. After that, the big work comes, the headache comes, running the country. At nakikita natin, napakahirap noon. If you stumble around, then the whole country stumbles with you.”

    When comedian Dolphy was convinced by some people to run for president, “Paano kung manalo ako, anong gagawin ko?” Mabuti pa si Dolphy, may wisdom and he knows that it’s difficult to be president.

    In the film “The Candidate,” Robert Redford is a son of a former governor. Redford was convinced to run against a popular senatorial candidate. Redford and his adviser had no expectation of winning the election. But on election day, Redford won. In the final scene of the movie, he asked his adviser, “What do we do now?”

    I don’t know why Grace is in a hurry to become Philippine president. Bakit hindi muna siya maghintay ng ilang taon at ipakita niya ang kanyang kakayahan as a senator kung dapat ba siyang tumakbo sa mas mataas na posisyon?

    mas maganda nga kung mayor or gobernor muna ang takbuhin ni Grace Poe para makita natin kung kaya niyang magpatakbo ng isang city or province.

    • P.Akialamiro on

      Running for a position with responsibilities of great proprotions, one knows she/he knows well he/she is not qualified, is doing a great DISSERVICE to the people. On the other hand supporters who very well know this by virtue of their positions in the high echelon of the government, are doing great service to the people by disuading these candidates with their ‘blind’ ambition.

  12. It is really intolerable that nothing is being done to stop Grace Poe in her political misadventures. We simply cannot have her around being paid by the people’s money undeservedly. Because she needs to be removed from her present office. We cannot just sit by an allow her to flaunt the Constitution by her remaining in office in violation of it.

    There is no compromise on this. She ought to be removed from office pronto. Some persons or group of persons should bring the issue to the Supreme Court. Before the issue “conflagrates” to a revolution.

  13. P.Akialamiro on

    The best test would be to file a petition to disqualify Ms. Poe once she has filed her candidacy for a higher office. The next president should have the track record of proven sincere and hands-on government service. ‘Faith’ in the people is a trivial qualification and is a general trait of most candidates. We need decisive and not a “yoyo” president who cannot lead. Signs of the times necessitate a result-oriented leader and a statesman. .